I am confident that we will beat Liverpool, though that could be because in recent times Anfield has been a cheerful place. Not since the Crouch hat trick of 2007 have we lost there. How relevant that is, who knows? But it is comforting going to a place I don’t associate with angst and frustration.
Liverpool have improved hugely and despite Brendan Rogers having a photo of Brendan Rogers on his mantelpiece, he deserves plenty of credit. He has brought some sanity to a club that was in the grips of a Glaswegian lunatic. However much they’ve improved, it often seems as though they have The Best Player in the league, Sturridge and some other guys….
Liverpool’s shortcomings arise in the other guys…
Take the West Brom game, as it is fresh in the mind. Liverpool had their moments, but the limitations of their midfield meant these came sporadically. Yacob and Mulumbu were able to dominate Gerrard and co for most of the 2nd half. Consequently the Liverpool defence lacked passing options. Instead of a simple pass to relieve pressure and begin a controlled attack, Toure and Skrtel were left to dribble out, which they did with varying success. In a way this was the precursor to Toure’s howler. Though it happened around 70 minutes, a lack of control had permeated Liverpool’s game much earlier.
It’s an odd thing, but Liverpool’s defenders are exceptionally dodgy on the ball. Agger aside – they all have the habit of transmitting their erraticism elsewhere. If Mertesacker and Koscielny are a siege tower, then Toure, Skrtel, Cissohko… are a rickety arrangement of scaffolding. When things are shaky, players fall off – Gerrard’s steadiness deserts him. Suarez’s poise can keep him steady, but lesser players struggle.
That’s the problem: Suarez may have to work upon dodgy scaffolding, but the point is he can. We played this exact same fixture back in 2012 – RVP won the game by himself. Unfortunately, Suarez can potentially do the same.
I guess were all about as happy as it is possible to be after having ‘Mourinho masterclass’ drilled remorselessly into our ears. A terrible pair of words, at odds with practically everything enjoyable in football. That said it was probably the best result we could have hoped for. City’s home form is terrifying and to quote a reader (whose name I forget!): Chelsea are the sort of team that can drop points at home to West Ham.
And if Hazard were to pull a hamstring…
An inkling I had a week ago was that City would be vulnerable without Toure and Fernandinho. As, for all their depth, they are the only midfielders they have that can make a 4-4-2 work. Rodwell has disappeared from the face of the Earth and Pellegrini’s opinion of Garcia is such that he’d rather play a 33-year-old centre back in his place. Now losing to The Away Team Specialists doesn’t mean an awful lot – the theory will need a few more games. But seeing as Fernandinho is out for the next couple of weeks, it wouldn’t surprise me if City’s form dips.
Wilshere should be back – and without the nuisance of Lucas, in a position to control the midfield. I believe Rosicky’s composure will suit a game like this.
Sagna Mert Koz Gibbs
Rosicky Ozil Chambo/Cazorla
Enjoy the game,
Cheers and gone.
P.S. – One of King Kenny’s more articulate press conferences…
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP